Late on Thursday, Pastor Terry Jones attended a press conference outside his small World Dove church, where he canceled his plans to burn the holy books, because he had received “a sign from God”, after a conversation with Imam Muhammad Musri, who implied that individuals connected to the planned mosque in lower Manhattan were willing to move the site.
Evidently, Jones misunderstood his sign from God, since Musri did not make any guarantee of a change of plans for the mosque, but rather the commitment to join him in a trip to New York for a discussion.
Musri, of the Islamic Society of Central Florida is a Muslim who believes the mosque should be located further away from ground zero, due to the opposition by many Americans.
However, there is a huge segment of the population, who believe that freedom to practice religion, as stated in the U.S. Constitution, gives the developers of Park 51 the right to build their community center/mosque at that location. Many believe that caving in to the pressure to change locations would be succumbing to the highest form of bigotry.
Pastor Jones stated in his latest press conference that things are “back to square one”, and he will continue to pray on a solution. He didn’t accuse Musri of lying, but he did confirm that his Quran-burning event was now “suspended rather than canceled” based on no confirmed plans to move the mosque.
Apparently, the warnings from the FBI, Defense Secretary Gates, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, President Obama, and General Petraeus that burning the Quran could spark violence against Americans and U.S. troops was not considered a powerful enough message from God to stop the event.
Instead, Jones, pastor of the previously-unheard-of evangelical World Dove church; congregation 30 members–intends to hold the world’s gaze in a narcissistic effort to get his demands met, which seems to be: move the location of the mosque—or else.
Kendall Coffey, former U.S. Attorney doesn’t believe Jones should be given such power.
“This is a time to be aggressive and not just stand by,” said Coffey Thursday on CNN. “It is a time to see whether there are charges that can be brought. There are fire code and disorderly conduct laws that apply when there is a clear and present danger that could possibly get Jones arrested and into the court system.”
Musri remains optimistic that Jones will not re-engage in rhetoric to burn the Qurans on Saturday, but Jones and his assistant have already gone on camera to verbally change the event status to “suspended” from “canceled”.
It appears unless God reveals another “sign”, that Jones and his followers will continue on the same bigoted and divisive path they have been on.
***Jean Williams 2010